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Man City boss Guardiola reveals 'exceptional' Zinchenko rejected transfer offers

3:05 AM EDT 5/9/21
Oleksandr Zinchenko Man City 2020-21
The Premier League leaders' coach has praised the full-back for the impact he's had at Etihad Stadium this season

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that Oleksandr Zinchenko rejected transfer offers last summer while describing the defender as an "exceptional" talent.

Zinchenko is currently enjoying arguably his best season yet at Etihad Stadium, having initially been snapped up from Russian outfit FC Ufa in 2016.

The 24-year-old was heavily linked with a move away from City following an underwhelming 2019-20 campaign, with Guardiola now confirming that he chose to stay and fight for his place after generating interest from a number of clubs.

What's been said?

Guardiola said before his team's 2-1 defeat against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday: "Oleks [Zinchenko] fought a lot to be at Man City, a transfer was possible, he said ‘no I want to be here’.

"That means a lot. He’s a guy who played in another position, never complains. He doesn’t make mistakes. When you say something, he reads it immediately."

The Catalan added on Zinchenko's qualities: "He is always focused, always concentrated.

"As a left-back he fights against [Mohamed] Salah, [Marcus] Rashford, [Angel] Di Maria - the toughest opponents and he doesn’t make mistakes.

"His quality with the ball is exceptional, we know it..."

Zinchenko's overall record at City

Zinchenko was sent out on loan to PSV in the Netherlands upon his initial arrival at City, but returned to the Etihad in the summer of 2017 and set about forcing his way into Guardiola's set-up.

The Ukraine international has since featured in 92 games across all competitions, scoring two goals and laying on seven assists.

Zinchenko has picked up eight trophies during his time with City, including two Premier League titles, and is on the verge of winning another domestic crown at present, with a Champions League final against Chelsea also looming large on the horizon.

The bigger picture

Zinchenko has had to be patient and make the most of his opportunities throughout his time at City amid strong competition at left-back from the likes of Benjamin Mendy, Angelino and Nathan Ake.

A lack of regular minutes led to last year's transfer rumours, but he was given a fresh five-year contract in 2019, and still has three years left to run on that deal.

Zinchenko has helped City boast the best defensive record in the Premier League this term, and if he can continue to shine during their ongoing treble bid there is every chance his services will be retained for the long term.

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